Holidays are always hectic at the Herald-Star newsroom. It means getting a column written five days before it appears in print, and that sometimes causes a dilemma.
You can't write anything about Thanksgiving as you don't know what will happen at the dinner - it hasn't happened yet. So you fall back on things that did happen during past weeks.
Here goes with some events I took part in and didn't get to write about or publish pictures in my column yet.
FLOWER SHOW — The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Region 12, took part in a flower show at the Jefferson County Fair. From left, seated, Jacob Nelson; Grechen Nelson, holding Callista; Shirley Steffl; and Pauline Irvin; and standing, Carol Williams, Ann Sage, Eleanor Drazich and Elaine Wukelic. Four Jefferson County clubs took part: Woodland, Rosebud, Four Seasons and Mount Pleasant.
FLOWER?SHOW — The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Region 12, took part in a flower show at the Jefferson County Fair. From left, seated, Jacob Nelson; Grechen Nelson, holding Callista; Shirley Steffl; and Pauline Irvin; and standing, Carol Williams, Ann Sage, Eleanor Drazich and Elaine Wukelic. Four Jefferson County clubs took part: Woodland, Rosebud, Four Seasons and Mount Pleasant.
-- Esther McCoy
CONTEST — The Jefferson County Beekeepers Association celebrated National Honey Month with a baking contest. Winners and judges were, from left, Esther McCoy, judge; Cecelia Einioth, breads, first; Sandy Capers, cakes, second; Ian Anderson, best of show with fruit and oatmeal bars; Dennis Anderson, breads, second; Suzan Kovaleski, cookies, first; and Beth Ann McCord, Monterey Bay Fish Grotto Restaurant chef in Pittsburgh, judge. Crystal Hatcher, president, was in charge of the contest.
FRIENDS — Stella Puskarich, left, and Donnelle Tonner, longtime friends through rabbit projects and 4-H endeavors, clown around at the Jefferson County 4-H Advisers Banquet. Stella doesn’t always dress in this manner. It was a Halloween costume.
-- Esther McCoy
IN COSTUME — Cheryl Lightfritz, left, 4-H office assistant, and Janine Yeske, extension educator, 4-H youth development, were dressed for Halloween, with Cheryl sporting a hippy looking very much like Cher and Janine as Popeye.
-- Esther McCoy
DRESSED UP — Sarah Cross, new ag and natural resource educator at the Ohio State and Jefferson County Extension, is dressed as an Indian squaw, and Katrina Belininger, program assistant for food and nutrition, came to the dinner as a cabarat singer.
-- Esther McCoy
I'll start with the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Flower Show that was held at the Jefferson County Fair.
I lost the paper with the list of members and couldn't find anyone to identify all the people in the picture so it wasn't published in a timely fashion.
Wonder of wonders, while cleaning my desk in anticipation of a United Way volunteer using my work area during the recent telethon, I found the sheet of paper with the names. Now the picture appears at this late hour. Sorry, garden club members.
I remember it being very hot when the picture was taken, and I was hoping for an early fall so the temperature would drop. Now I wish it were warm again.
Crystal Hatcher, president of the Jefferson County Beekeepers Association, asked me to judge the annual honey-baking contest, with a new twist it was open to the public this year. Beth Ann McCord, a chef at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto in Pittsburgh, was the other judge.
I picked up pointers from Beth Ann in judging, had great fun working with her and enjoyed some really great baked products made from honey. How sweet!
Lamont and I attended the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District annual dinner meeting, where we had a nice time seated with the Clevengers and Franckhausers, members of the board.
I scooted around taking photos most of the evening. Most have been published, but there were a few left over.
I snagged Tom Gentile on his way out carrying the Dave Barnhouse print "Parade of Tractors" purchased in the auction to earn money for JSWCD scholarships.
He paid $250 for the print, featuring John Deere tractors. And he has another Barnhouse farm scene that was purchased at the county fair. Ken Perkins was the event's auctioneer.
Then comes the 4-H Advisers Banquet, where leaders came as their favorite character, in keeping with the "Find Your Character" theme for the year.
Carolyn Piergallini was Minnie Mouse; Stella Puskarich was a backwoods girl; Joyce Wetherell was in a long flannel nightie and night cap; Monica Wetherell was a 4-H camper; Carl and Aimee Glenn were in outfits of the early 1900s; and Michelle Wood was a deer hunter dressed in camo.
Lamont and I sat with father and son, Cliff and James Wood, and Mary Ellen Grafton, James' grandmother.
There were items pertaining to Popeye as centerpieces, as Janine Yeske chose him as the model character for 4-H in 2013. "Popeye was loyal, caring and strong to the finish. That is what we want 4-H members to adopt as their ideal," she said.
Getting back to table arrangements, there were cans of spinach to make him strong; coupons for free hamburgers to satisfy his friend, Wimpy; a flower for his girlfriend, Olive Oyl; and a yam because Popeye always said "I yam what I yam."
I left with the spinach as no one else wanted it, the hamburger coupon for a grandchild and the big orange flower.
Katrina Bleininger, program assistant in food and nutrition, someone I have known from Harrison County 4-H since an early age, and Sarah Cross, new ag and natural resource educator, had their heads together. It is nice seeing young people who know the organization well from going through the ranks.
Now for the touching dinner I attended as Lamont's guest at St. Florian Hall Nov. 6.
It was the 11th-annual Cancer Survivor Celebration "Thanksgiving for each Moment of Living," presented by Trinity Health System.
For those who wondered why I was not taking pictures, I felt this was Lamont's time to be honored. I didn't want to leave him alone while I was dashing around taking pictures.
Our table group was comprised of Mark and Lee Clark; his mother, Jackie Clark Haynes and her daughter, Shawna McCoy; Barbara Losey; and us. Anytime Jackie is around, it is a riot.
Keith Murdock gave the welcome, and Teresa Kropka, someone I have known since she was quite young, sang a beautiful song, "Blessed."
The guest speakers offered such touching words one just had to stop and listen.
Dr. Sam Licata explained the advances in breast cancer care over the years and told his patients in the audience that it was an honor to take care of them.
I'm sure Dr. Sam doesn't remember me, but in 1995 he came to my aid after an extensive car wreck. He cared for the broken ribs piercing my left lung and while the pain medication had me in a drugged state I kept repeating that he was too young to be a doctor.
Artie Cline is a 16-year cancer survivor, diagnosed with osteosarcoma in November 1996. He has been a radiation therapist for five years now working at the Tony Teramana Cancer Center since July, and his sunny disposition must surely bring joy to any patient.
Dave Catlett, an enthusiastic West Virginia University fan, was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 66. "After 39 radiation treatments, I'm glad to be here," he beamed. "The real beauty of Teramana Cancer Center is inside."
Dave showed a WVU license plate found at a yard sale. It is autographed by all who gave him treatments and was slung over his shoulder proudly as he spoke in his WVU gold and blue shirt. He also introduced his wife, who is a 24-year breast cancer survivor.
Keith Jackson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2011 at age 40. He underwent robotic radical prostatectomy at Ohio State University Medical Center and told in a touching but sometimes comical way about the circumstances that led up to his discovery.
The description of his treatment brought back memories because it was the same set of circumstances that Lamont went through in going for a biopsy, simply because the doctor thought it would be a precaution, learning when he returned for the results that it was indeed cancer.
We knew what Keith was going through, but his explanation of personal details was done in a delightful way, and he had the audience laughing at his descriptions.
Thanks, Trinity Health System, for the wonderful dinner that brings together all who have been through the same fears, pain, endurance and sunshine on the other side, when healing or remission takes place.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)